Hey all! Sorry for the brief hiatus – life has become a bit hectic with me having finished college just the other week, and now being knee-deep in the job search, it has been hard to catch my breath. But I am back, and boy am I excited to sit down and enjoy a beer! Given that it is mid December and the days are getting colder, it is time to bring in the seasonal winter beers! I have a checkered past with winter seasonals, however. I find winters to be either the perfect blend of quality spice and warming features, or the equivalent melting down a pine scented candle and shooting it. I wanted to start my winter beer reviews with a brewery that I trust, and that is Weyerbacher. So lets delve into the Weyerbacher Winter Ale.
This will be shortest section for all of my Winter seasonals. The reason behind that being, that most (not all, but most) winter beers share the same caramel brown body with a light khaki head. The Winter Ale is no exception. The point worth making is that there is actually a little bit of light able to show through the body of the beer with is unique compared to most winter brews. While the beer is somewhat boring to look at, if you catch it in the right light – it does stand apart.
Great nose on this beer. This is one of the most important parts of any seasonal, winter or otherwise. I want to be able to open the bottle and immediately be brought into the season that this beer is tailored for. If it’s a summer beer, I want to be surrounded by citrus, if it’s for Autumn – I want notes of pumpkin and caramel. But for Winter – I want chocolate, malts, and nuts. The Winter Ale gives me all of those notes but importantly, not too strongly. This ale doesn’t go into ‘candle territory,’ which is so important for enjoying a beer as a beer lover. I’m not drinking these beers for gimmicks, I want to have a good beer, and the nose is an important part of that.
I really didn’t expect this. The beer is a little uninteresting. While I appreciate the fact that t doesn’t go into ‘candle territory,’ I would argue that it goes almost too far in the opposite direction. When I first put the glass to my lips I expected a fuller flavor that would match the dark color of the body. There is almost no flavor on the front of the tongue. What this does is make the beer exceptionally smooth and quite drinkable, however it also leaves me wanting more from it. I will say that the back of the tongue flavor, meaning the malts and the alcohol flavors are very nice and very prominent. It just feels like half the beer is missing – and that half would take this beer from a good brew, to a great brew.
As I said before, the Weyerbacher Winter Ale is good – but it just isn’t quite great. The scent of this beer takes it to the upper echelon of the seasonal category – but the flavor leaves me wanting more. This is the perfect beer for people who really are anti-seasonal beers all-together, because this bridges the middle ground between a year-round craft brew, and a balls-to-the-wall seasonal. But for those of you who want a really full flavor, you’ll be left wanting a little more.
3.5 out of 5